Customer fined $250 for complaining, told "You are playing games with the wrong people"


#1

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#2

Reminds me of another vendor


#3

Wow, you have to really be bad to have an F rating with the BBB. I have dealt with many pure fraud businesses where BBB wouldn’t allow a complaint on the basis “they are just following their policy”.


#4

That would seem to undermine at least part of the purpose of the BBB.


#5

They are criminals. https://www.techdirt.com/blog/?company=online+accessory+outlet Criminals are always the wrong people to play with.


#6

Since the policy preventing complaints only applies to customers of Accessory Outlet I’ll just criticize the company without ever doing any business with it.

The sad thing is Accessory Outlet will probably fold like a cheap umbrella and it will be a Pyrrhic victory for Public Citizen when they get stuck with the legal fees. Admittedly they’re willing to take that chance, but it still sucks. The owners of Accessory Outlet have found a business model that works. All they need to do is change the name.


#7

It really borders on unbelievable. How are these greedy creeps any different than the bully shake downs of criminals anywhere. Give us ways to shame and hurt them as individuals. They should not be allowed to hide behind some corporate wall of bullshit.


#8

Where’s anonymous when you need them?


#9

I would just dispute the charge with the credit card company. They hate “chargebacks” and will quickly put the screws to vendors who are causing problems. Terms like this are more than likely against the merchant agreement the vendor has to sign to accept a brand of credit card.

In general you have to dispute the charges within 60 days (beware any offer that encourages you to try it out for more than 60 even if they promise a full refund).

There are consumer protections and rights that can’t be set aside by store policy or terms and conditions but the credit card companies are usually even more pro-consumer in this instance (might seem out of character, but the CC have a vested interest in you feeling safe to purchase cruft. Merchants are really the ones over the barrel in this relationship) than is required by the law.

In general, their behavior is probably all bluster trying to bluff you into rolling over or getting some amount of money. It’s doubtful that they even have a membership with a credit reporting agency to even make a report–that’s why it’s important to be preemptive with your card issuer.


#10

" “Contact your lawyer, spend more time and money if you wish. You
will be billed and the amount we will bill you for will continue to rise
with every email and every second we dedicate to correspondence of any
kind pertaining to your breach of the terms of sale. Thank you.”

Sounds like ISIS has taken control of their customer service.


#11

They also using a photo of a cell phone store in Korea as the photo of their store on their website. Also the 4 certifications shown on their websites are fake! http://consumerist.com/2014/08/28/more-sketchiness-revealed-about-retailer-that-charges-customers-250-for-threatening-to-complain/


#12

Hint: click on the “every one of Accessory Outlet’s badges of merit” link in the article, which will take you to that Consumerist page.


#13

In general, I think such situations are very complicated with respect to redress–it depends on where the buyer and seller are located. If we assume that the buyer and seller are both in the U.S., it becomes clearer.

It’s not correct to say that one is able to do something simply because it’s in writing and another party “agreed” to it. At a bare minimum it must be legal and enforceable. If the terms of service have a clause that states that the seller reserves the right to hit me in the face with a waffle iron–doesn’t mean they actually have that right.


#14

So why is it that DAs are perfectly willing to pillory people for the most ridiculous shit, but something like this requires a lawsuit instead of resulting in criminal theft and fraud charges? Dumb question, I know.


#15

Incidentally, that’s Cindy Cox, not Cindy Fox.


#16

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, problems with stories like this is when I hear people respond to it with, “This is why I only use established online vendors.” Aside from blaming the victim it’s also problematic if you’re buying something that an “established” vendor doesn’t carry. This particular story involves a cell phone case, but if it’s not something Amazon carries the consumer, in many cases, can either do without or hand over credit card information with little hope of recourse if things go wrong.

The Accessory Outlet representative says they’ve “successfully” used this tactic against other customers in the past. I don’t doubt it.


#17

Adding to Evernote

“Avoid Accessory Outlet”

Got it!


#18

Fogbert:
In general, I think such situations are very complicated with respect to redress–it depends on where the buyer and seller are located. If we assume that the buyer and seller are both in the U.S., it becomes clearer.

The scammers address is a UPS store in Mamaroneck, NY. The scammer is somewhere around Mamaroneck.


#19

Search for Accessory Outlet on google. Click on ad


#20

If they don’t deliver, then in what sense are you a customer? Also, how the hell do they levy fines?